Karan Johar is in a bit of a soup. The director-producer-actor has gotten into legal trouble after an advertisement that was allegedly aired during his current reality show did not go down well with the Delhi Health Department. Karan, along with Rohit Shetty, is a judge on India’s Next Superstar.
According to the reports, the advertisement of Kamla Pasand Pan Masala was aired during the show and the capital’s health unit has raised a few concerns. A notice has been issued for the same against Karan Johar and his production house, Dharma Productions. Along with Karan Johar, distributors, judges and the owners of a private TV network involved in airing the advertisement have been asked to appear before the Delhi Health Department within 10 days of the filing of the complaint.
"We have come to know that a huge and strategic display/promotion of Tobacco/ Pan Masala Brand 'Kamla Pasand' is being carried out at Star Plus Television Channel in the Reality show 'India’s Next Superstars' being telecast throughout India. This Promotion of Tobacco brand is a violation under sections 5 of COTPA 2003 as it is a surrogate advertisement of tobacco product Kamla Pasand Surti," Dr SK Arora, Additional Director (Health) said in the show cause notice.
The notice read, "In view of above, you are strictly instructed to immediately withdraw this brand promotion of tobaccos and pan masalas from this programme and all other places wherever promoted and also clarify your position within 10 days that why appropriate punitive action be not initiated against you and others as per the provisions under section 5 and section 22 of COTPA, 2003."
"The participants and the viewers of this reality show are mainly youngsters who easily get attracted towards such advertisement strategy of tobacco industry. Therefore, it is essential to protect them. Ninety per cent of oral cancers are mainly due to chewable tobacco and pan masala habits," Dr Arora said.
This isn’t the first time that KJo has received a notice for violation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act. Earlier, the Delhi Health Department had reportedly issued a notice to Karan Johar, Shah Rukh Khan and other makers of Ittefaq for showing Akshaye Khanna smoking in the poster of the film. As per the rulebook, if the director refuses to cooperate, he may have to face a minimum of five years in jail and will pay a penalty of Rs 2000.